Starting a business is a big challenge in itself. It involves a lot of planning and tough decision-making. But what comes next is a more significant challenge: grow, sustain and make an important place in the market.
Businesses market their products and services in the best possible way to do. They use different mediums like television, print, radio, the internet, etc. Traditionally, it was done by identifying target markets and promoting their products and services to create brand awareness and increase sales.
But nowadays, a new approach called Integrated Marketing, or Integrated Marketing Communications focuses mainly on promoting products and services.
What is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing is a contemporary marketing approach in which various marketing channels are combined to spread a standard message among the masses. It helps create a consistent and long-lasting image in the minds of the consumers.
Instead of delivering different messages on different mediums, it creates a single message and has it across all mediums. It helps them reach a wider audience and create a well-researched strategy that maximises profits. It also gives your brand a unified voice that your customers associate with.
Tools of Integrated Marketing
Various tools of integrated marketing include:
According to American Marketing Association, advertising refers to ‘any paid form of non-personal presentation of ideas, goods and services by an identified sponsor’. It can be done through newspapers, magazines, radio, television, websites, social media platforms, billboards etc.
- Direct Marketing
As the name suggests, it directly sells the product to the target customer. The message is communicated through mail, telephone, fax, e-mail or the internet.
- Interactive/Internet Marketing
It involves the use of the internet for communicating the message. It helps in having two-way communication, which leads to increased user participation.
- Sales Promotion
It refers to promoting the sales of a product by providing extra benefits or incentives—for example, offering freebies, heavy discounts and other offers on the purchase of a product.
- Public Relations
This tool helps create a good relationship between the brand and the public by knowing their needs and considering their feedback. It uses publicity tools like press releases, corporate films, events, feature articles, advertorials, etc.
- Personal Selling
It refers to direct contact between the buyer and the seller. This means face-to-face interaction and answering their queries to close the deal.
Process of Integrated Marketing
The steps included in the process of integrated marketing are as follows:
- Know who your target audience is by identifying who will be the potential users of your product or service.
- Analyse your position in the market by understanding market demands, knowing what your competitors are doing, and understanding the current trends in the industry.
- Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats by conducting a SWOT analysis.
- Create a communication strategy with clear objectives that you want to achieve through this campaign.
- Identify the integrated marketing tools that you will be using for your campaign.
- Determine your budget for the campaign.
- Evaluate your campaign once you have executed it.
How does Integrated Marketing help your business?
- It enables you to reach a large number of people.
- It is cost-effective as you are spreading a single message across different mediums.
- It creates more brand recall value for your business.
- It builds the trust of your customers in your industry.